Halliday surprises to take Australian Women’s TT title
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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Halliday surprises to take Australian Women’s TT title

by Ben Atkins at 12:51 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, National Championships
 

Former Olympic rower Amber Halliday of South Australia stepped up three places on her 2009 result to take the Australian championship at Buninyong, Victoria, according to Cycling Australia. Halliday – who retired from competitive rowing two years ago, having won three World titles – has only been cycling at this level a short time and surprised herself by beating a number of more experienced riders, completing the 28km course in 40 mins, 57.14 secs.

"I wasn't sure when I crossed the line, I still didn't believe it when I got back to the tent and I had to keep on asking my team," she said.

"Towards the end of my rowing career, I always looked forward to my cross training ride on a Sunday morning, so I thought I would have a crack at cycling and see where it would get me.

"I feel like I have a lot more idea about what is going on this year and everything came together today," said Halliday, who works as a sports journalist in Adelaide, South Australia.

"I have always been one to not put big targets on myself and one of the reasons I took up cycling was to make the transition into normal life easier,” she continued. “I always concentrate on the process and just want to get to the height of my own ability, so after being on top of the world in rowing to get to the national level for cycling was not so unrealistic for me."

Halliday beat 2008 national champion – and current Oceania road race champion – Bridie O’Donnell by 4 seconds.

"Amber had a great ride today, both of us had a fast day and we had great conditions," said O'Donnell, who recently signed for World champion Tatiana Guderzo’s Team Valdarno Umbria.

Despite an early start time, South Australian Carly Light took the bronze medal 1 minute and 2 seconds behind Halliday.

Oceania time trial champion and pre-race favourite Alex Rhodes, who has moved from Columbia-HTC to Webcor Builders, punctured both wheels during the early stages of her ride and didn’t finish. 2009 champion Carla Ryan, like her male counterpart Michael Rogers, didn’t start the race.

Tomic best of under-23s

Western Australian Josephine Tomic – who joins compatriots Rochelle Gilmore and Vicki Whitelaw at the Belgian Lotto Ladies Team this year – took fifth place, which was good enough to win her the under-23 jersey.

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